IBM garners record deal with Unilever

IBM has announced a multimillion-pound outsourcing deal with Unilever – the
largest European finance and administration business outsourcing deal in its

Unilever said anticipated cost savings would contribute to a target of around
¤700m (£481m) annual savings for the ‘One Unilever’ programme – but added that
around 750 people could lose their jobs.

The deal covers more than 20 European countries and aims to ‘enhance
Unilever’s finance capabilities; reduce the cost of Unilever’s finance function;
help Unilever meet its “One Unilever” programme business objectives and provide
access to innovations in finance processes and services’, the statement added.

Kees van der Graaf, president of Unilever Europe, said: ‘IBM brings strong
business process knowledge, deep technical expertise and a flexible, responsive
business model to finance shared services.

‘The change will affect quite a number of our employees in Europe.

We are committed to treating all of them responsibly and in line with the
“European framework on transition for shared services” that we agreed with the
European Works Council. When jobs are affected we will do our best to find them
alternative employment,’ he added.

Unilever said it would follow a phased approach in implementation over
approximately two years, starting in the first quarter of 2006.

IBM will provide financial services including ‘purchase to pay’ and general
accounting that will be delivered from centres in Portugal, Poland and India.

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